Many people think that Sudbury Valley is an easy school, many think that it is hard. The truth, it turns out, is much more subtle and depends entirely on your point of view. This lecture, delivered on March 17, 2010, talks about “easy” and “hard” from a very new angle.
“When infants are born, what are they struggling to be? What is their purpose for existence, actually, but to grow up to be independent? That’s what they’re supposed to be. Otherwise, there’d be no species. The species survives on the basis of infants struggling to be independent. That’s what evolution and biology demands. They’re given all the tools from early infancy to gain independence and freedom. They’re given curiosity, they’re given the ability to explore things, the desire to explore their surroundings. They’re given the ability to learn, to learn from mistakes, to do things and then learn from what they’ve done and remember it and use it in the future. They’re given the ability to take risks; they always want to do things that are dangerous. And that lasts well into the teenage years. They don’t shy away from their mistakes. They don’t consider mistakes a bad thing. They have memories so that they can call on their experience and use it in order to avoid making the same old mistakes, so they can make new ones.”